If you are not planning on showing or breeding your pet, it is recommended that he or she be surgically sterilized. Early spay or ovariohysterectomy (females) or neuter or orchiectomy (for males) surgery can prevent diseases such as pyometra (infection of the uterus), prostatitis, and cancer of the mammary glands or testes.
Spay surgery is performed under general anesthesia, which means that the pet is unconscious while the surgery is performed. Animals should be in good health prior to surgery. Generally, we recommend dogs and cats undergo surgery at about six months of age, preferably before the first heat period.
Spay and neuter surgeries are routine procedures and stress to the patient is generally low. This is an excellent opportunity to microchip your pet.
Most animals can go home right away and recovery time is typically short. Nonetheless, the incision should be monitored twice daily for any signs of infection: swelling, redness, and discharge. The incision site should be kept clean and dry.
Your pet’s activities should be limited for the first week or so following surgery. Dogs should only be walked on a leash and not allowed to run or roam. Following that first week, the animal can resume normal activity.
Benefits of Spay/Neuter
Beyond birth control, the benefits to pets far outweigh the inconvenience of this routine procedure. Spayed and neutered pets can be more affectionate and many undesirable behaviors are eliminated.
The benefits of spaying females include:
- No annoying heat cycles to attract males
- Less desire to roam
- Reduced risk of mammary gland tumors
- Eliminates risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
- Eradicates risk of pyometra, a life-threatening infection in the uterus that requires emergency surgery
The benefits of neutering males include:
- Decreased aggressive behavior
- Reduced or eliminated spraying and marking
- Less desire to roam (reduces risk of getting hit by a car or injuries from fights)
- Eliminates risk of testicular cancer
- Decreased risk of prostate disease
This routine surgical procedure is a small price to pay for the long and healthy life of your pet.
Prevent Pet Overpopulation
Sterilizing your pet helps prevent cat and dog overpopulation. There are far more cats and dogs in the United States than there are available homes. Stray and unwanted cats and dogs overrun our animal shelters.
Even if you were to find a home for your pet’s puppies or kittens, this translates to fewer homeless pets already waiting in shelters being adopted, putting them at risk for being destroyed. Further and sadly, there is no guarantee that the owners you find will sterilize, so your pet’s offspring may be at risk of being homeless or destroyed.
While sterilizing kittens and puppies is advised, adult pets can have spay or neuter procedures performed as well. Please contact us for more information.